Thursday, April 7, 2011
A conviction for 55 counts of possession of child pornography was affirmed in part and reversed in part by the South Dakota Supreme Court. The court found the 100 year sentence to be grossly disproportionate to the offense.
The court found that the admission of evidence of the defendant's semen on a disc that contained child pornography was not an abuse of discretion:
A substantial number of the charged acts involved possession of videos of adult males masturbating on children. The presence of [the defendant's] semen made it more probable that [he] had been sexually stimulated by the discs' content. Thus, this was a "sexual fingerprint" that was highly probative of the identity of the possessor and the possessor's knowledge of the discs' pornographic content. Further, this type of sexual fingerprint does not tend to prove such issues by illegitimate or unfair means.